By Chris Wright
on 10.26.12
Photo by Eric Yang

It’s time to give up sipping the double IPAs of summer, but not quite time for a winter warmer. If you have a strange itch for a liquid sort of pie, there’s an explanation: it’s pumpkin beer season. Tragically, this classic fall seasonal is damn easy to mess up — we’re tired of one dimensional, harsh jack-o-lanterns being shoved down our throats. What we need is a different take on this autumn cold toddy, preferably with a pun-related name.

What a coincidence! We just sipped Hangar 24’s Local Fields Gourdgeous Pumpkin Porter ($7.50 per 22-ounce bottle), and suddenly, we have an uncontrollable urge to wear light jackets, rake leaves and snuggle close to a campfire. We’re also having a slightly harder time concentrating on the writing of this review. You see, the Gourdgeous is a strong porter at 8.5%, and what with our penchant for imbibing more than a few glasses in one sitting… we’re suddenly in more than just a fall mood. But we’ll try.

Gourdgeous manages to deliver a different take on the beaten horse that is pumpkin beer while basing its flavor on the foundational classic style. In fact, we think the strong porter is easily as good a vehicle for the pumpkin and spice flavor as an ale. There’s a spicy darkness on the nose, like you just shoved your nose into an oven of slightly-burned gingerbread cookies. The taste is chocolaty, with lots of burned molasses and a hearty helping of spices. It’s all wrapped around a present but subtle heart of pumpkin — the tastes are always blended, never overwhelming on any one flavor. A spicy dose of cinnamon covers any alcoholic heat at the back end — but there’s easily enough booziness to warm you on a frosty night.

As part of Hangar 24’s Local Fields line, the Gourdgeous’s main ingredient (pumpkin, if we haven’t driven that home enough) is grown locally — within a half a mile of the brewery to be exact. This is a neat, admirable gimmick, and makes the fact that it’s downright delicious that much more impressive. So how do you reward Hangar 24 for their hard work and quality product? Find a bottle, relax in the deliciously musty fall night air, and sip away. Talk about a win-win.

Buy Now: $7.50 (22-ounce bottle)

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